The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

I Pra You, Seris, Al In Fere

For the Feast Day of St. Thomas Becker, Archbishop of Canterbury, Dec. 21

Attributed to John Audelay

De sancto Thome archiepiscopo Cantuarienci.

         I pra you, seris, al in fere,
         Worchip Seynt Thomas, this holé marter.


For on a Tewsday, Thomas was borne,
And on a Tuysday, he was prest schorne,
And on a Tuysday, his lyve was lorne,
And sofyrd martyrdam with myld chere.
         I pra you, seris, al in fere,
         Worchip Seynt Thomas, this holé marter.

Fore Holé Cherche ryght ale hit was —
Ellis we had then songyn “alas!” —
And the child that unborne was
Schul have boght his lyve ful dere.
         I pra you, seris, al in fere,
         Worchip Seynt Thomas, this holé marter.

Ther prestis were thral, he mad hem fre,
That no clerke hongid schuld be,
Bot eretyk, or fore traytré,
Yif oné seche case fal ther were.
         I pra you, seris, al in fere,
         Worchip Seynt Thomas, this holé marter.

Then no child criston schuld be,
Ne clerke take ordere in no degré,
Ne mayde mared in no cuntré,
Without trebeut in the kyng dangere.
         I pra you, seris, al in fere,
         Worchip Seynt Thomas, this holé marter.

Thus Holé Cherche he mad fre;
Fore fyfté poyntis he dyed, treuly;
In heven worchipt mot he be,
And fader and moder him gete and bere!
         I pra you, seris, al in fere,
         Worchip Seynt Thomas, this holé marter.

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